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An Officer and A Spy

Harris, Robert

(Book - 2014)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
An Officer and A Spy
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"Robert Harris returns to the thrilling historical fiction he has so brilliantly made his own. This is the story of the infamous Dreyfus affair told as a chillingly dark, hard-edged novel of conspiracy and espionage. Paris in 1895. Alfred Dreyfus, a young Jewish officer, has just been convicted of treason, sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil's Island, and stripped of his rank in front of a baying crowd of twenty-thousand. Among the witnesses to his humiliation is Georges Picquart, the ambitious, intellectual, recently promoted head of the counterespionage agency that "proved" Dreyfus had passed secrets to the Germans. At first, Picquart firmly believes in Dreyfus's guilt. But it is not long after Dreyfus is delivered to his desolate prison that Picquart stumbles on information that leads him to suspect that there is still a spy at large in the French military. As evidence of the most malignant deceit mounts and spirals inexorably toward the uppermost levels of government, Picquart is compelled to question not only the case against Dreyfus but also his most deeply held beliefs about his country, and about himself. Bringing to life the scandal that mesmerized the world at the turn of the twentieth century, Robert Harris tells a tale of uncanny timeliness--a witch hunt, secret tribunals, out-of-control intelligence agencies, the fate of a whistle-blower--richly dramatized with the singular storytelling mastery that has marked all of his internationally best-selling novels"--
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2014.
Edition: First United States edition.
Copyright Date: ♭2013
ISBN: 9780385349581
0385349580
Characteristics: xi, 429 pages ;,25 cm

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Dec 09, 2014
  • vickilh rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This was a great read! An engrossing page-turner, very well-written. It was a great way to learn more about the episode in French history.

Best Thriller of the Year Award winner (British Crime Thriller Awards)

Oct 23, 2014
  • becker rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Spies, treason, political corruption, conspiracy and 19th century courtroom drama all based around the infamous true life Dreyfus Affair in France in 1895. This is an interesting piece of history transformed into a very well told work of fiction. Good reading.

Sep 04, 2014
  • DanglingConversations rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I have discovered a new author and am looking forward to reading more of his work! What a great telling of a shameful piece of French history. I studied the Dreyfus Affair in history, but this really reflects the impact the affair had on the country and European politics.

Aug 18, 2014
  • athompson10 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Tense and fast-paced; Harris takes a complex historical case and makes it both easy to follow and relevant today.

Aug 09, 2014
  • Diane Suter rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I couldn't put this book down. When I got to the flashback about the original trial, I realized why he must have chosen this topic--it was Guantanamo, it was Omar Khadr. Nothing much has changed in 120 years.

Today’s Between the Covers podcast is with novelist Robert Harris, author of An Officer and a Spy. We discuss why he chose to write a historical thriller about the Dreyfus Affair, whether this “French Watergate” (as he calls it) holds any lessons for national security in the 21st century, and why his books (Fatherland, Selling Hitler, and this new one) often touch on the problem of anti-Semitism.
- National Review On Line 2/4/14

Jan 29, 2014
  • Daphne57 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Great novel based on historic facts; it was a marvelous experience reading a story that might have happened yesterday.

i absolutely loved this book. If you enjoy 19th-20th Century History it is a must read. It amazes me the research Harris must do for his novels. I hope that Polanski does make it into a movie, but read the book.

This man is a brilliant wordsmith. The story based on a factual incident is absorbing, fascinating, intriguing, so well written--hard to put down. I understand Polanski may make it into a movie. But the book stands on its own. It is written in the present tense given it immediacy and the language captures the era. Highly recommended.

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app08 Version gurli Last updated 2014/12/09 10:52